Saturday, February 6, 2016

National Cultural Treasure Series - WATCHTOWERS OF LA UNION, Luna, La Union - PH-01-0009-NCT

There are a number of watchtowers still exist in La Union which can be found ashore in the towns of Bacnotan, Balaoan, Luna, San Fernando and San Juan. I haven't seen or visited any of them except for the Baluarte in Luna.

The Baluarte, as it is commonly called, is a massive watchtower standing lonesome in the pebbled shore of Luna, one of the largest and most intact of the watchtowers known. It is the most visited and the most popular among the other old Spanish watchtowers here in La Union.

Built by the Spaniards during their occupation in the Philippines, Baluarte was used as watch tower and observation post for impending danger from the sea. Not from typhoons or tsunamis, but from the the Japanese, Chinese and Moro pirates who took pleasure in raping coastal towns and settlements.

The structure has been damaged due to big waves. Erosion caused the structure to crack and divide it into two. As of my last visit, the cracked half of the tower leans, almost down. Some concrete support prevented it from further leaning.

But this never prevented the tower from further destruction. On October 21, 2015, Baluarte was toppled by typhoon Lando, which lashed through several provinces in Luzon that week. The historical landmark and a national treasure, that 5.6-meter tall Baluarte of Luna, and was one of La Union’s popular tourist destination, now destroyed.

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